Monday, September 30, 2019

1981 Topps Terry Whitfield

The front: Whitfield rockets a line drive down the first base line – fair or foul? This appears to be Shea Stadium. He played in two day games at Shea that year, with two hits in eight at-bats.

The back: Teammate Darrell Evans also had five hits that day.

The player: Whitfield was a high-average, low power outfielder who initially came up with the Yankees in 1974. After playing in 30 games over three years for the Yankees, they traded him to San Francisco for Marty Perez, who played one game for the team before being traded for Mike Torrez. Whitfield did reasonably well as a part-time outfielder for the Giants from 1977 to 1980 before playing in Japan for three seasons. He came back to the US in 1984 and played three more seasons for the Dodgers. Overall in 730 games he hit .281 with 33 HR and 179 RBI.

The man: He has had a long career as a youth coach. His company, Future Pro Baseball, operates batting cages in California and Japan.

My collection: I have 15 of his cards, from 1975 to 1986. I would be interested in trading for 1984 Fleer Update #125.

Street trade (actually a trade)

In going through the thousands of junk wax cards I acquired recently, I pulled lesser Mets that I know Al likes (Darling, Mookie, Hundley believe it or not) to save for when he asks. A couple of days ago I gave him a bunch pre-emptively, plus I think there were a few others as well. Here is what I pulled in return. All are from the "M-T" box.

I haven't even checked yet to see if any of these are dupes. Probably some are. He also threw in a couple of damaged cards I found in the box, like the Edgar card in upper right. Note the two Fred McGriff variations in the middle, from the Leaf Rookies and Stars set. Both are the same card number.
 Some more. A few of these cards are actually National Packtime, like the Deion card that appears to be from '95 Fleer. I goofed on the Soriano/Beltran, guessing it was from Update but it's actually from the base set I already completed. Best card in the lot was definitely the Gold Rainbow parallel of the Frank Thomas middle-finger card.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Viral street cards

I've had so many cards come in the mail lately that I hadn't had a chance to post some of the cards I had gotten recently from Al. A week ago I was at his table. We didn't do a trade, but he was talking about how he was throwing out some of his damaged cards. I told him, that rather than throwing them out, I would take them. I don't care about condition, even for modern cards. So he gave me a small pile of cards he had been about to get rid of.

About an hour later, I saw on Twitter that @yanxchick, Sooz who used to work for Topps, discovered Al. She has a much larger audience than I do, so hopefully that got him a bunch of new customers.

Anyway, here are the cards I rescued from being thrown out. Most of them I had already . . .
 But there were a few new ones that I'm certainly happy to add to my collection for free.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Some rough but great 66's

I won an ebay auction for 130 rough-shape 1966 Topps cards for $36 including shipping and tax. Some big names in this set made it worth a quarter a card. I ended up needing 85 of them, as I am still pretty low on '66s.

Here are some of the big, but not biggest names, in the lot. Some of these I had already, they are open for trade - Hunter, Allen, the two Floods, the Koufax league leaders. Open up the image to get a better idea of condition, though if I have a better conditioned version I might make it available. (In case it is not clear from the photo, the Koufax card has had the top left corner cut off.)
 Every single checklist - kind of cool.
 Some of the Yankees in the set. I think I had a couple of these already too.
 Here are the two biggest cards. I'm OK with the condition on these for a quarter for set fillers. The crease across Mays's face bothers me more than the missing corner on the Rose, but I'm not planning to actively chase upgrades on these.
 This, however, is a card I would like to upgrade. Looks like they can be gotten for a couple of bucks online with patience. It is so goofy that it is kind of fun.
 Speaking of goofy, I already had the "corrected" version of this card, but now I also have the original, "fly open" version of the '66 Don Landrum.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Bicentennials and an Embossed

Johnny's Trading Spot sent me a few '76s, knocking off about a third of that wantlist. He also sent a '65 Topps Embossed with the ghostly visage of Dick "The Monster" Radatz.
Here are my remaining '76 needs. Who can help?

1   Hank Aaron record breaker
7 Jim Umbarger
15  George Scott
19 George Brett
34 Mike Garman
80 Jim Kaat
133 Gary Matthews
135 Bake McBride
203 NL Strikeout Leaders
208 Mike Lum
251 Rick Monday
268 Del Unser
278 Bernie Carbo
298 Dick Bosman
316 Robin Yount
347 Ted Williams All-Time Great
380 Bobby Bonds
402 Don Money
405 Rollie Fingers
410 Ralph Garr
540 Bill Freehan
599 Rookie Pitchers (Guidry)
658 Doug Griffin

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Cards from Bob Obert

Reader Bob Obert (no blog yet) emailed me saying he had a bunch of vintage cards I needed. I said sure, not knowing what I would get. The package he sent had some really good cards.

Cards from the '70s. Three of the four cards from '73 have Hall of Famers.
 Here are the '50s and '60s cards. Some really big names here. My first vintage card of Ernie Banks! That was the biggest and best surprise. My first vintage Casey Stengel is awesome too, even if he is with the Mets on the card. Some other big names here too like Flood and Colavito.
 Thanks for the trade, Bob! Hope you like the package of Stadium Club, Tigers, last-year cards and bubble-blowers I sent you.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Traveling through time to get an incredible card

As any reader of this blog can tell, in addition to baseball cards, I have a deep interest in local history (NYC and Long Island). I was born in 1977, so my own personal memories only go as far back as the mid-1980s. I am always fascinated by pictures and videos of familiar places as they looked decades ago. I particularly love the era of the 1950s to the 1970s, when everything was similar enough to be recognizable, but different enough to be interesting. My favorite video on YouTube is A Walk Through New York City in 1968, which is a simple walk up Broadway and then Sixth Avenue. It is not at all artistically done, just the camera going up the streets, which creates the feeling that you really are walking through Manhattan in 1968.

Watching a video like that, or looking at old pictures, I often imagine myself being transported back to those times, and being in the scene shown in the photo or movie. Overtime, such daydreams have evolved into kind of a time travel fantasy, as my musings on old photos led into a train of thought as to how I could conceivably end up in the 1960s, and what I would do if I actually find myself there. Because of the level of immersion in the 1968 video, that is the year my thoughts often wander to. It's easy to forget that in that year of unprecedented social upheaval, there were still lazy Sunday mornings, breakfasts at diners, trips to the park. Daily life in the late 1960s has kind of been overshadowed by the major historical events of the time.

When Daniel of It's like having my own Card Shop announced his Tenth Anniversary Contest, with some amazing prizes for the best-written post, I admired the prizes but didn't even consider entering, as free-form writing is not my strength. That is why most of my posts are highly structured like the 1981 Topps series.

However, one day, I believe on the train ride coming home from a Yankee game, I was mentally in 1968, and my thoughts turned to baseball cards. Imagine being transported back to 1968 and being able to open a pack of cards! I remembered that one of the categories in Daniel's contest was a story about time travel and baseball cards, and for the first time I considered entering the contest.

About half of the story had been in my head in some way for a long time. For example, landing on top of Stern's at night, and then slipping through the building to the street had been an early part of my fantasy. Then one day I read about guard dogs in Macy's and I realized that it wouldn't be as easy as I thought. (I've spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about how I would survive in the 1960s). Other parts of the story, like the secret society of time travelers, I made up in order to stitch together the pieces of the story that were in my head.

My favorite part of the story is trading through time with other bloggers. I tried to include most of the people I trade with most frequently, and a few prominent bloggers from past and present (Night Owl, Dime Boxes, Tribecards) got a bit more of a substantial role in the story. If you haven't read the story yet and are curious, you can find it here.

I haven't written creatively since high school, maybe college. At the moment I don't plan to do more, but I did have fun writing this story, so I wouldn't completely rule out more. There are some people who find writing this way very easily; I am not one of them, though, so I would need to really be inspired as I was here. Maybe more adventures in 1968? Or perhaps different years - I realized later on that if I had gone a few years further back, I could have incorporated Jefferson Burdick into my story.

Anyway, I was quite surprised that my little story not only won a prize, but won first place! I own a bat card of Joe DiMaggio, autographed cards of Don Mattingly and Aaron Judge, but this card has to be the best card in my collection, by far. Right?
It's a beautiful card, an iconic subject, and considering the age of the card, in really good shape. I don't have many '56es, and most of the ones I do have are heavily trimmed and/or you can't read the card number on the back. This card is simply fantastic.

Daniel's generosity didn't stop there. He included a few semi-high number 1970 Topps cards I needed, including the iconic "Chevy Pickup" Jim Fregosi card.
Thanks for the contest and the amazing prizes, Daniel!

Monday, September 23, 2019

1974s from The Collective Mind

The Collective Mind helped me whittle down my 1974 wantlist with a lot of cards, including some big names.

Here are the vertical cards. Highlights include two Aaron specials, Yogi, Reggie and a Dick Pole rookie.
 Lots of horizontal multiplayer cards too. My favorite is the Hank Aaron in the middle. I think it's a night card. Eventually I'll do a vintage-backgrounds segment on it.
My 1974 wantlist is now in pretty manageable territory too. Some bigger names than what I need from 1976 but nothing too outlandish:

14 Paul Popovich
95 Steve Carlton
153 Jon Matlack
160 Brooks Robinson
273 Checklist
275 Ron Hunt
280 Carl Yastrzemski
283 Mike Schmidt
291 Don Hahn
303 George Hendrick
318 Jim Merritt
335 All-Star Shortstops (Campaneris/Speier)
384 Chris Chambliss
448 Ron Hodges
450 Richie Hebner
458 Jim Ray
466 Dick Billings
471 NL Playoffs (Matlack)
474 World Series (Campaneris)
475 World Series (Staub)
540 Bob Robertson
543 Danny Cater
561 Ed Kranepool
567 Red Sox Team
623 Celerino Sanchez